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Riders' Cup Announces Changes



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) has announced major changes to its Riders’ Cup Program, a joint venture with the Walking Horse Report, the official publication of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association.

The program has paid out over $300,000 since its inception and is undergoing its first major changes since beginning in 2005.  The WHTA has listened to its members, horse show management and owners to make changes to the program that will allow the Riders’ Cup program to have its most successful year in 2010.

Horse shows can now be a part of the program without requiring additional sponsorship monies in Riders’ Cup classes or paying out mandatory additional prize monies.  Horse shows will pay an affiliation fee of $100 to the WHTA to participate in the program and remit $10 for every entry in Riders’ Cup classes. 

A major change in 2010 is horse shows from all affiliating HIOs will be allowed to participate in the program.  This will allow horse shows all across the country to participate as well as allow trainers across the country to have horse shows to participate and accumulate points.

Another change in 2010 is that all trainers that are members in good standing with the WHTA are eligible to participate.  In past years, trainers had to pay $50 to participate in the program however this year access to the program is free.  Trainers will have to fill out an application and turn it into the WHTA office by May 1, 2010.

Trainer points will also accumulate differently in 2010.  The National Trainers’ Show and Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will be triple point shows with all point values being tripled in each show.  This will be the first year for The Celebration to be included in the program.  All shows that have multiple judges will be double-point shows in 2010.  All other shows will be single point shows. 

First place will continue to award 200 points to the trainer with each corresponding place dropping 10 points to 10th place garnering 110 points.  All other entries in previous years received 100 points.  In 2010 this will be changed to 50 points awarded to entries that do not receive a ribbon.

New classes and divisions have also been added to the program in 2010.  In 2010 points will be tracked in 10 divisions plus a miscellaneous category rather than 5.  This year divisions will include Two-Year-Old, Three-Year-Old and Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding divisions as well as stallion divisions.  Other divisions will include Open Stake, Aged Mares & Geldings, Open Specialty and 15.2 & Under.  All other open performance classes will go in the miscellaneous categories.

Sponsorships are an important part of the success of the Riders’ Cup program.  In 2010, sponsorships will be $2,500 per division or $5,000 for the Two, Three and Four-Year-Old divisions to include both Mare & Gelding and Stallion divisions.  All sponsors will be recognized at each participating horse show during that class and featured in the Walking Horse Report each week.

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